It was a year ago that Boise Weekly examined what we called an "epidemic of fear," chronicling an organization, headquartered in Idaho's panhandle, called Vaccination Liberation, which pushes back against immunizations, in spite of what health officials called "a disturbing trend" in northern Idaho of low vaccination rates among school children.
Our story unleashed hundreds of critical posts, almost all of them from supporters of Vaccination Liberation.
But the debate is expected to be rejoined with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's renewed call for vaccination against the flu. The urgency for vaccination came in the wake of news that three Idaho women have died from flu-related complications. The women were all over the age of 50 and are the first reported flu-related deaths in the Gem State this year.
Health officials stress that this year's flu vaccine protects against three different strains of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated, with the exception of people with a severe allergy to chicken eggs or people who have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the past.